Saturday, March 3, 2018

"The woman, pillar in the Church and the Society in the Plenary of the Commission for Latin America", by Olga Lucia Alvarez Benjumea ARCWP

The woman, pillar in the Church and the Society in the Plenary of the Commission for Latin America.

The woman, issue facing the Pontifical Commission Latin AmericaThe woman, issue facing the Pontifical Commission Latin America 

The words of the Pope in Peru marked with fire the entrenched situations of injustice still suffered by women because of the "machismo" in the region
Patricia Ynestroza-Vatican City
Women, pillar in the building of the Church and society in Latin America ", this is the theme chosen by the Holy Father Francisco for the next Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.
From  6 to 9 March  at the Vatican, the  Pontifical Commission for Latin America  will address this issue with 35 female personalities from Latin America, with very different social and ecclesial responsibilities. Your presence, experience and competence will be fundamental to enrich the reflections and exchanges of the anticipated experiences. The program of the Assembly includes four conferences:  Prof. Ana María Bidegain  highlights "the obstacles and points of support for the 'promotion' of women in the Latin American reality ; Dr. Guzmán Carriquiry The women who, in the history of Latin America, have marked "the pattern of a cultural transformation" will be reviewed; Cardinal Francisco Robles will  speak about "the presence of the Virgin Mary and the role of women in the evangelization of Latin American peoples" and Cardinal Marc Ouellet, president of the CAL, will speak about "  women in light of the mystery of the Trinity and the Church. "
A successive series of panels confronting the reality of women, "educator and catechist", in the field of work and politics, in the effort of "solidarity with the poor and the care of the common home" and in "the building of the Church. " The work of the  Plenary Assembly  of the CAL was crowned by an audience with the  Holy Father Francisco  on the morning of Friday, March 9.
In the press release it is reported that in this work to prepare this Assembly was held in its days of execution was included on  March 8 , " International Women's Day ." Therefore, the CAL has the initiative to invite a dinner of friendship and a tribute on that day, together with all the participants in the Assembly, to some 40 women of the more than 700 who work in the Vatican, with different levels of responsibility and that represents symbolically all the female gender that works every day in the Vatican.
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Dr. Ana Maria Bidegain, greets Pope Francis and handing him his book.

Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community Third Sunday of Lent March 3, 2018 Presiders: Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP, Mary Theresa Streck ARCWP, Kathryn Shea ARCWP Readers representing MMOJ God-family: Mary Al Gagnon & Lee Breyer Life time God parents: Stephen Winners & Kathryn Shea Music Minister: Mindy Lou Simmons

Welcome and Greeting

Presider 1:  Welcome to Mary Mother of Jesus, an inclusive Catholic Community where all are welcome to share Eucharist at the Banquet Table. We use inclusive language in our scripture readings and prayers. We invite sharing at the homily and prayers of intercession. Everyone prays the words of Consecration in the Eucharistic Prayer. We welcome our newcomers at announcement time after Communion. All are invited to join us for supper after liturgy at a local restaurant.

Presider 2 - Today we walk with the Samaritan woman to share the Good News of the All-Embracing Love of the Divine in us and in all. Jesus’ ministry was inclusive of men and women who were disciples and companions in proclaiming the Gospel.  Today in preparation for Seth’s baptism at the Easter Vigil, we present him to our community as he gets ready for his baptism. Like the Samaritan woman, who recognized Jesus in her life and shared him with her whole town, we celebrate Seth’s inner light and journey to share his brother Jesus’ love with joy and enthusiasm with our world.

Presider 3 - Seth, your “God-family” is so proud of you and loves you very much. We are happy that you have chosen to be baptized and confirmed into the Christian community, and we recognize that you are and have been a significant member of the Mary Mother of Jesus Community for a number of years.

Invitation to Silent Prayer and Laying on of Hands

Bridget Mary: Seth, please come forward with your parents and representatives of the MMOJ “Godfamily.” 
I invite Seth’s parents and the representatives from our Godfamily to lay hands on Seth’s head and shoulders.
Seth, We, your community are praying for you as you prepare for your baptism and confirmation. I ask everyone here now to offer a silent prayer of thanksgiving for you and your family. 
In preparation for your baptism we present you with this prayer shawl, similar to the one worn by your brother Jesus, and we present you with this water from the River Jordan, where Jesus was baptized.

Blessing for Seth

Mary Theresa: Please raise your hands and join in blessing Seth. 

All:  May you continue to learn more every day about our God who loves you so much. 
May you continue to learn more about your brother, Jesus, who taught us to love one another.

Opening Song
: “This Little Light of Mine” (words on song sheet attached)

Opening Prayer

Presider 1: Please join in praying our opening prayer:

ALL: Loving God, You call each of us, by name to serve our sisters and brothers with our unique gifts. Like the Samaritan woman you call us this day to be your disciples, committed to reflecting your loving presence everywhere we go.

                                               Rite of Communal Reconciliation

Presider 2: Before we bring our gifts to share at the Banquet of Love, we ask for forgiveness for our failures to love one another and care for God’s creation.

ALL: In your love, we open our hearts to personal growth and healing.

Presider 3: We give thanks for Divine Love that fills our souls and makes us one family.

                                                      General Absolution

Presider 1: Please extend your hands in mutual blessing.
ALL: God, Father and Mother of Mercy, through his living, dying and rising, Jesus has revealed that nothing can separate us from your infinite love. Grant us your pardon and peace and move us to forgive each other our failures to care for one another and our earth. We ask this in the name of Jesus our brother and of Holy Spirit our Wisdom. Amen
Liturgy of the Word

First Reading:
Jn. 15 16-17

Responsorial:  O my Beloved, my strength, my joy!

Second Reading:  A Reading from This Little Light by Michael McGrath (read by Mary Theresa) 

Gospel Acclamation: Spirit of the Living God
Spirit of the Living God
Fall fresh on me
Spirit of the Living God
Fall fresh on me.
Melt me mold me
Fill me use me
Spirit of the Living God
Fall fresh on me.

Gospel: John 4: 6-42  

Homily Reflection (Bridget Mary, Kathryn, Mary Theresa)

Bridget Mary Meehan ARCWP: The Good News today is each of us is the face of God in our world.  The story of the Samaritan woman at the well records the longest conversation between Jesus and anyone in the Gospels.  The Jews and the Samaritans despised each other and no Rabbi would ever speak to a woman at a well or anywhere. This story depicts a conversation between Jesus and the ultimate outsider, a gutsy Samaritan woman, contrary to the customs of the times. Jesus is comfortable breaking through taboos that exclude women who asked questions. It was her questions that led to the beautiful insight about true worship is always free and not restricted to Temple or Church. So too, today, our questions and conversations can lead us to deeper wisdom and understanding of Divinity in our midst.

Like Jesus who broke through religious rules of his times,MMOJ violates church law today by welcoming everyone to the Banquet Table. 
Like  the  Samaritan woman whose enthusiastic witness  spread throughout her town like wildfire  we, at Mary Mother of Jesus Inclusive Catholic Community, proclaim: All people are loved and blessed by God. The Spirit dwells within each of us and speaks through all of us.
All that is required is that we worship God in spirit and truth by living fully, loving tenderly and doing justice.

Like the Samaritan woman, like Seth, each of us is called to be an evangelist to spread the good news  of divine love in everyone and in all creation with faith, joy and enthusiasm. 

Kathryn Shea, ARCWP, reflection:

Our dear Seth, dad and I and your whole family are so proud of you.  Our Mary Mother of Jesus community is proud of you.  You are preparing for you upcoming Baptism and Confirmation in such an inspiring and holy way.  You’re asking deep questions about God and Jesus and prayer.  You have come so far and we have had the great pleasure of walking this Earth with you on your journey back to God.  
Dad and I will never forget that one very hot day in June, 1989 when we traveled on a train from Albany to New York City to pick you up from Harlem Hospital where you had been for 41/2 months.  We were stunned at how small you were and how blank and lifeless your face was.  You could not hold your head up.  You could not roll over.  You had no eye contact.  You had no expression at all.  But in a relatively short period of time, you became alive.  You started smiling and looking at our face and responding.  Your light, that was always there, starting shining.  And each day, we saw more and more of your light.  You inspired us from the very beginning.  You were so curious about everything, and you still are.  As you responded to our deep love for you, it was so exciting to watch your light glow brighter and brighter.  Your light healed you and then your light began to spread to others and their world became brighter as a result.  And as the years unfolded, we watched you accomplish things they told us you never would;  walk, talk (Yes.  We were told he many never talk!), cut with scissors, build unbelievable boats with Legos and K’NEX, and read.  And we watched your soul evolve at rapid speed.  You showed compassion at such a young age, even before developmentally expected.  
You are pure joy, Seth, and you fill everyone with joy that encounters you.  You have a heart of gold that comes directly from Jesus, your brother by name.  You are so divinely connected to the Holy One, that we all just watch and listen in awe.  The deep connection to All That Is, is what has brought you to this place today and the desire to be baptized.  And you will continue to let your light shine bright for all the world, for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.  You truly are a miracle and we all love you so much.

Mary Theresa's reflection

This morning I read, "If God is the Ground of our Being, then what does it mean to enhance the being of another?" 

From the time I met Seth when he was 4 1/2 months old, I witnessed what it meant to enhance the being of another.  Filled with God's spirit, Kathryn and Stephen loved Seth into wholeness.  Their light and love enlivened a fragile child whose light and love now shines for all to see.

Seth, I love you very much, you are blessing!

Statement of Faith

ALL: We believe in the Holy One, a divine mystery
beyond all definition and rational understanding, in whose infinite love all creation exists and evolves.

We believe in Jesus, messenger of the Divine Presence,
bringer of healing, heart of Divine compassion,
bright star in the firmament of the Holy One’s
prophets, mystics, and saints.

We believe that we are called to follow Jesus
as a reflection of divine compassion and healing
a source of wisdom and truth,
and an instrument of peace in the world.

We believe in the Spirit of the Holy One,
the life that is our innermost life,
the breath moving in our being,
the depth living in each of us.

We believe that the Divine kin-dom is here and now,
stretched out all around us for those
with eyes to see it, hearts to receive it,
and hands to make it happen.

                                                       General Intercessions

Presider 2:
As we prepare for the sacred meal, we pray for the needs of the people of God in our community and around the world.
Our response is: Holy One, you hear our prayers.
Please share your spontaneous prayers.

Presider 3: We give thanks for all whom we held in the circle of grace and will continue to pray for and use our talents to serve our sisters and brothers with joyful hearts in the coming weeks. Amen.

                                                    Offertory:  “Jesus  Met the Woman” – Peter, Paul, & Mary                    (words on song sheet)

Presider 2:  Please join us around God’s table
                                                   Preparation of the Gifts

Presider 1: Blessed are you, God of all life, through your goodness we have bread, wine, all creation, and our own lives to offer.

Presider 2: Through this sacred meal may we become your new creation as we respond to your call to use our gifts in loving service to our sisters and brothers.

ALL: Blessed be God forever.

Presider 3:
All are welcome to join us around God’s table.

                                                       Liturgy of the Eucharist

Presider 3: God is with you.

ALL: And also with you.

Presider 3: Lift up your hearts.

ALL: We lift them up to God.

All:  O God of Seth, Oh God of our brother Theo, and of each of us, we praise you with our names and rejoice that You call us to be your disciples in our world today. We give thanks for the rich diversity of talents we have in this community. We open this circle of grace to remember the angels and saints and all who have gone before us. Joined with all creation, we lift up our hearts and sing:

We are holy, holy, holy by Karen Drucker

Voice 1: We thank you for Jesus, our brother, who called women and men to be disciples and equals to proclaim the Good News of divine love for all creation. He lifted up the lowly, and revealed your abundant tenderness toward each of us especially those who are sick and suffering, lonely and grieving, lost and excluded.

Voice 2: We celebrate our call to use our talents to reflect the One Who Embraces All with love in our relationships and actions each day.

(raise hands toward bread and wine for Invocation of the Holy Spirit)

All: Now, as we share the bread of life and lift the cup of joy, we pray come Holy Spirit deepen your Presence within us and in these gifts of bread and wine.

All: On the night before he died, Jesus gathered for the Seder supper with the people closest to him. Like the least of household servants, he washed their feet, so that they would re-member him.

Presider 1:
(lifts bread as community prays the following:)

All: When he returned to his place at the table, he lifted the Passover bread, spoke the blessing, broke the bread and offered it to them saying:

Take and eat of the Bread of Life
Given to strengthen you
Whenever you remember me like this
I am among you. (pause)

Presider 2:
(lifts the cup as community prays the following )

All: Jesus then raised a cup of blessing, spoke the grace saying: 

Take and drink of the covenant
Made new again through my life in you.
Whenever you remember me like this,
I am among you. (pause)

Let us share this bread and cup, and welcome everyone to the Banquet as we live the gospel of justice and peace in our world.

Voice 3:
We are called to do everything Jesus did, to be the living presence of a love that does justice, of a compassion that heals and liberates, of a joy that generates laughter, of a light that illumines right choices and confronts the darkness of every injustice and inequity.

All: So, we trust you to continue to share with us your own spirit, the Spirit that filled Jesus, for it is through his life and teaching, his loving and healing all honor and glory is yours, O Holy One, forever and ever. All sing: Amen.

Presider 3: Let us pray as Jesus taught us:

All: Sing -Prayer of Jesus:-Our Father and Mother

Presider 1:  Sign of Peace: Let us hold hands sing “Peace is flowing like a River” as we pray for peace and justice to spread through our world.

                                                  Prayer for the Breaking of Bread

Presider 1:
Please join in the prayer for the breaking of the bread:

All: O God of Courage, You call us to live the Gospel of peace and justice. We will live justly.
O God of Compassion, You call us to be Your presence in the world. We will love tenderly.
O God of Truth, You call us to speak truth to power. We will walk with integrity in your presence.

(Presiders hold up bread and wine)

Presider 2:
“This is the bread of life and the cup of blessing. Through it we are nourished and we nourish each other. All are welcome to the Feast.

All: What we have heard with our ears, we will live with our lives; as we share communion, we will become communion, both Love’s nourishment and Love’s challenge.

                                            Communion:  Instrumental

Communion Meditation: “
Down to the River to Pray” – Alison Krauss –Sung my Mindy

                               Prayers of Gratitude, Introductions and Announcements

Presider 3
: Let us raise our hands in blessing and pray together:

All: May we continue to be the face of God to each other. May we call each other to extravagant generosity by sharing our talents with all. May we walk with an awareness of our call as companions on the journey, knowing we are not alone. May we, like Jesus, be a shining light and a blessing in our time!

All: Amen.

                                        Closing Song: “We Are Marching in the Light of God”
(Verses: Singing/Dancing/ Serving)

(This liturgy was written by Bridget Mary Meehan and Mary Theresa